01-25-2007, 02:15 PM
Hi everyone!

I wrote this essay for a POLS class last term .. and I thought it might make an interesting debate?

Basically, the question is discussing the Supreme Court's ability to overturn its own decisions and decisions of other government branches. So, who really decides? Us, in the democratic show of voting or unelected public elites such as the judges. And by elites, I mean : White, upper class, ivy league education etc.

The Mass Implications of Judicial Review
Judicial review allows the Supreme Court to rectify the disparity between existing legislation and current public ethics in favor of the masses . Hamiltonís dream of hindering extraneous legislative rules has expanded to allow for changes in the personal philosophies of the nation as it advances towards a more modernistic view of the world . The concept solidified in Marbury v. Madison (1803) and allowed the Justices to reform nationwide law regarding elective abortions to fit the strength of the womenís movement in Roe v. Wade . The concurrent case of School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp demonstrates how judicial review has allowed the masses the freedom of religion in their education per demand . The ability of the Supreme Court to force a reflection of the nationís values in the legislation gives them a great strength in their battle over the other two branches, as Bush v. Gore illustrates.
In the midst of a cultural movement which advocated the individuality of women, stari decisis offered no solution to Roe v. Wade, argued Sarah Weddington, as the justices repeatedly asked her to concede . Weddington, herself, understood the rigidity of Texas abortion legislation . Roe v. Wade framed abortion as an elective medical procedure, depending on individual decision rather than medical necessity . The American woman, rebelling against her motherís housewife status, took control of her sexuality . The Court, responding to this idea, forced the states to adopt a more permissive view of abortion . The case faced heavy contention, validating Justice Holmesí description of the Court . The Executive office, particularly President Reagan, used the power to appoint candidates to the Court while Congress attempted to legislatively nullify Roeís significance . Neither venue proved successful, speaking to the strength of statues enacted in continuation of the personal policies of the people .
The case School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp argued to expand the ability of the educational system to provide what Justice Black deemed a necessary quality of theological neutrality . Schempp argued that the use of the Bible as an introduction to each school day provided an exclusively Messiah based Christianity. The Courtís ruling prohibited the certain shame of a member of a religion not affiliated with Christianity in a governmental context. The Forefathersí bifurcated intent allowed individuals to feel comfortable independently selecting and practicing a religion. The importance of this ruling lies in the fact that although much of the nationís government is composed of members of Judeo-Christian theology, the current trend is towards more individualistic and non-European forms of religion. This ruling compelled the school districts in this and resulting cases to mirror the nationís general philosophy of free and open religion in almost every government context.
In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court inappropriately used the traditionally mass-oriented concept of judicial review to overrun mass opinion and affirm their position of power in American society. Each candidate concentrated on Florida which determined Governor Bushís victory with less than 1% of the popular vote. The Court was asked to decide on the constitutionality of a prior state ruling. The implications of this ruling gave the Court the opportunity to declare nationally the power they held through electing a president for the masses. The popular vote representing Americaís voice, granted Vice President Al Gore the victory. However, in a flawed electoral system, a man other than the choice of most Americans garnered the electoral votes. This expression of personal preference as well as clues given by PIPA data should have prohibited the action of the Court. The Supreme Court overruled the massesí opinion in a case not pertaining to personal ethics conflicting with antique statues.
I viewed the Supreme Court as an impregnable institution with both honor and rigidity. Now I see the Supreme Court as a more flexible institution which uses judicial review as a means to serve the American people. I do believe that in the same manner that the Supreme Court serves to amend legislation to prevent a hyper-conservative movement, the Court does a disservice to another group of individuals who do not feel that the Courtís decisions accurately reflect their philosophical standings. I feel that the Court has given me certain rights and privileges which I did not ask for nor desire. But it seems fitting that I do not feel represented by a group of individuals who, from the first moment, were designed by men such as Hamilton to live above the people. God bless America.

01-31-2007, 04:51 PM
that is a very interesting way to look at things. and i think your right, the supreme court's ability to overrule other court decisions is like saying "well, were gunna let you decide everything for yourself...as long as we agree with what you agree." very flawed.

p.s. Double spaceing would be much appreciated. :P

01-31-2007, 05:32 PM
While I admire the topic, the perspective, and the evidence I must say that it's very difficult to read. I'm the first to try to impress my reader with my knowledge of English vocabulary and to try to overwhelm them with my education, but I admit that my King James Bible is easier to read.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever used the word "bifurcated" in a sentence before. Microsoft Word gives the Flesch Reading Ease level of your piece at 31.7. That's harder than the average article in the Harvard Law Review.

Do I say this because I want to hurt your feelings? No. I just want you to know that while this place is full of hyper-intelligent brainiacs, you would lose the average reader by the 4th sentence.

As a former Math and English teacher, I have a few other comments as well, but I don't think that's what you want.

Very interesting topic, though, and one worthy of debate. :)

02-06-2007, 10:04 AM
Thanks Tromos. I wasn't trying to lose the reader .. I didn't actually mean to post the essay. I meant to come back and edit it down .. so that it would be so much easier to read. I actually was writing for my POLS prof... so, that's why its "hyper-intelligent" phrasing. But, he gave it 98.7 .. so I guess he liked it. But, I appreciate the comments. Maybe I should have you comment on another essay I'm writing :) I'll come back and fix this so that it doesn't frighten us panheads so terribly.

02-06-2007, 05:24 PM
Thanks Tromos. I wasn't trying to lose the reader ...

I was reading Twain the other day, Tom Sawyer, to be exact. Tom Saywer is a book typically given to Middle Schoolers or High Schoolers to read but in Twain's day it was book for young children.

Your essay is well written. Big words be damned, you made your case in few words and ended the thing concisely. Today's society seems to begging for stupidity. Mike Judge's latest film, Idiocracy, makes no small claim that this is case. When the main character speaks normally other characters call him "Faggy", which merely makes them look like the fools they are being.

You essay is good, and made great mention that the supreme court is more like putty than a brick. It changes as culture changes around us. Also, it was hard to read your bias, which is good.